Progress Lakeshore: LEAP survey a success

MANITOWOC, Wis. – More than 300 Manitowoc County businesses have taken the LEAP, Lakeshore Economic Analysis Project, survey and the study is now closed. The program is a joint venture of Progress Lakeshore and the Chamber and was sponsored by Investors Community Bank and Leede Research, both of Manitowoc. The online survey program was designed and hosted by Leede, with the program being comparable to work being completed in other Wisconsin counties. The goal was to gather timely information from area businesses about our local economy and future outlook.

The survey generated 341 completed interviews, with employers ranging from single person businesses to companies with more than 750 employees. “We were very pleased with the overall response and quality of the survey sample,” said Dean Halverson, CEO at Leede Research. “The study will have an error factor of plus or minus five percent and should provide an accurate look at the local economy.” The survey also reached a good cross section of business categories, representative of the local economy. Review of size and key industry segments will be part of the overall study analysis.

Over the coming weeks the participating organizations will meet to review the data. The study will be supplemented with a review of key local information generated from a variety of government sources to enhance the primary survey data and provide additional perspective on what is happening in the local market. The goal is to bring all of the information together to share with the community. The participating organizations will also start to develop action plans based on the information, with a goal of determining how to maintain economic success and support business growth.

Leaders from Progress Lakeshore and the Chamber will be working with local government to enhance the information gathered in the survey with secondary data that documents the economic activities in Manitowoc County. This will then be shared with the organizations over the summer months and a set of action plans will be developed to help support local business interests and needs.

The current plan calls for the public release of key highlights from the LEAP Study to be part of Progress Lakeshore’s Pasta for Progress event scheduled for September at Seven Lakes Golf and Dining. This is the second annual event. There will be a more complete presentation and review of action plans as part of the Chamber’s Business Summit scheduled for October. Investors Community Bank will be a sponsor in both events as part of their commitment to the LEAP program. More information will be released as the process continues.

About Progress Lakeshore

For the past 10 years, Progress Lakeshore has offered free and confidential services to assist businesses accelerate growth, whether start-up or existing, new to the area or well established in the community. Progress Lakeshore is there to help businesses navigate unknown territories and come out successful – improving our area’s overall economy in the process.